Glencormac march on
Hard-fought win over Arklow United secures final spot
GLENCORMAC advanced to the final of the Challenge Cup with a hard-fought victory over Arklow United at Ryder’s Field last Sunday morning.
Oisin Kelly and Kieran Griffiths scored for the Glens either side of a strike from United’s Tadhg Powell to give the north Wicklow side victory.
It was Arklow who started on the front foot with some precise passing and movement stretching the Kilmac side early on.
Jamie Grehan was outstanding at the back in the early stages. One slide tackle in particular exemplifying his commitment to the cause
With United’s winger Dan Fox showing trickery but the final ball just letting the side down.
The first chance of note was provided by Glencormac winger Bradley Cullen who took on his man and lofted a ball into the area, however Oisin Kelly trying to head with power just put it over.
It was a temporary reprieve for United as from the next attack Glencormac broke the dead lock.
Aaron Killick delivered a beautiful free kick into the heart of the United area and amongst a plethora of bodies Kelly managed to get the decisive touch to power beyond keeper Sean Murphy.
With Cullen providing a constant attacking outlet Glencormac shaded the rest of the half, one such attack saw midfield enforcer Mickey Murrey scything the attacker down as he was looking dangerous. From another Killick free kick Kelly went close again but was inches off target.
The Glens kept pushing for the second goal, from a Kieran Griffiths corner Cullen bulleted a header off the post from the resulting scramble Kelly had an effort blocked on the line and Arklow managed to clear.
Arklow’s best efforts were from distance with Murrey having a rasper saved at the second attempt by keeper Charlie Ward.
Just before half time good Arklow pressing led to a mistake in the Glencormac defence.
Jack Kavanagh and Piotr Pancezko combined to create an opening for Faysal Muse whose firm header only located Ward who was positioned perfectly to save.
Adam Dutton the Glencormac left back was to the fore in this period bringing a cool head and composure to relieve the pressure before the break.
On the resumption Glens midfielder Marcel Kacajda was desperately unlucky to nod an effort onto the frame of post and crossbar.
Arklow were coming more into it though and were rewarded with the equaliser six minutes into the second half. Fox cut inside but under pressure the ball ran loose to centre back Tadhg Powell and his low right footed effort from 20 yards beat Ward before going in off the post.
Minutes later Powell had another effort from distance this time with his left boot which Ward saved, Muse was onto the rebound however his effort was miraculously saved by Ward who touched onto the post and Kacajda cleared.
Another snapshot from Muse saw Ward worked again but the Glens keeper was equal to it.
With 16 minutes left the Glens retook the lead. Ronan Byrne lifted a ball into the Arklow area and somehow Kieran Griffiths flicked a volley over his shoulder and into the corner of Sean Murphy’s net.
Arklow came back with renewed vigour. Conor Gahan headed a chance over, Powell had another effort blocked away.
In the final five minutes Arklow had more chances, Niall Dempsey had a driven effort blocked away by Ward and Fox had a daisy cutter cleared by the Glencormac custodian as their time ran out.
An exciting game between two well matched sides. Arklow had some great performances especially from Tadhg Powell, Jack Kavanagh and Dan Fox.
For the victors Marcel Kacajda, Adam Dutton and Aaron Killick excelled. However, man of the match was Charlie Ward. He made a number of outstanding saves and manned his area like an auxiliary sweeper.
In the second semi-final Rathnew received a walk-over from Coolboy Rangers who were unable to field a team.
Dan Fox of Arklow United tries to get past Glencormac’s Adam Dutton.
Glencormac’s Bradley Cullen closes in on Mikey Murray of Arklow United.